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Minnesota Bridges Go Gold for After-School Programs

10/22/2014 10:14:43 AM


A student's learning does not end at the school bell. Even though a child spends most of their time outside of the classroom, educators can keep students engaged by offering high-quality after-school programs to extend the learning day. 

Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed October 23 /governor/assets/Lights%20on%20Afterschool%20Day_tcm1055-114240.pdfLights on Afterschool Day, connecting Minnesota to a national celebration of after-school programming. More than 90 after-school programs throughout the state will host events on Thursday, and in recognition of this, the lights on the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge and the Lowry Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis will glow gold tomorrow evening. The iconic Empire State Building in New York City will shine with the same color that night, connecting the Midwest to celebrations across the country.

This will be the 15th annual Lights on Afterschool celebration, which is organized by The Afterschool Alliance, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of after-school programs and advocating for more investment in them.

After-school programs provide students with important learning opportunities outside of their classrooms, said Governor Dayton. They also provide safe and secure environments for children, until their parents or other adults return home from work.

In Minnesota, after-school programming is supported by the 21st Century Community Learning Centers awards, grants that are awarded to help establish or expand community learning centers that provide students with enrichment opportunities during times when school is not in session. Last year, $11.5 million in federal funding was used to support after-school programming in communities with high concentrations of poverty.
Currently, these grants provide support to 33 organizations providing services to 114 centers throughout the state. Last year, these programs served 22,629 students.

To find an after-school program that will be hosting an event on Thursday in your area, visit the Afterschool Alliance website.


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